Listen to Piano Player Bill Evans Talking about Improvisation and More

This is a video clip with an interview of well known jazz piano player Bill Evans from 1966. Listen to this musician talking about what he calls the jazz process, considering jazz as a style. It’s interesting that Bill Evans considers jazz as more a creative process than a style, since it is recovering the essence of improvisation that had already been present in the classical or concert music from the 17th century.
He also points out that in this process the composer and time have a one on one relation while for concert music composition the composer might write in one minute something that will take several minutes to play it or vice versa.
According to Bill Evans, the art of music is the capability to speak with creative spontanity. The jazz musician must be concentrated on the moment, the moment has to be shaped by intention and requires the jazz musician to be there with all of his energy while the whole, the complete composition is the product of a series of creative moments.

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Ionisation by Edgar Varese Performed by the Ensemble InterContemporain

Watch this video with Pierre Boulez conducting the Ensembe InterContemporain for a performance of Edgar Varese’s (1883 – 1965) composition Ionisation. The music involves many percussion instruments and some rare music instruments like the siren and the lion’s roar which you can listen to as a solo instrument at 1:15 of the video clip and as part of the orchestra at 3:08. This particular version of the instrument is suspended and the performer pulls down from beneath on a string attached to the middle of the drum head.
Not only did Varese experiment with new instruments but also integrated electronic resources into his compositions, for example on the 1958 World Fair when he wrote his Poème électronique as part of the pavilion Philips had commissioned to Le Corbusier. The piece was presented over 400 speakers located in a series of rooms, with the effect that the visitors could listen to the changing sound as they moved through the rooms. This and other experiments with electronic resources gained him the nickname “Father of Electronic Music” (which is a little bit exaggerated considering composers like Karlheiz Stockhausen and many others who actually used electronically produced and synthesized sounds in their compositions) while Henry Miller described him as “The stratospheric Colossus of Sound”. However, ther can’t be no doubt about the quality of the compositions of Edgar Varese.
Some people say that this particular recording is performed much to fast, but as far as the composer is concerned he wrote no number for beats per minute, instead he left the space empty on the sheet music.
Edgar Varese was also one of the most important influences for modern music composer and rock guitar player Frank Zappa, check out the music by this legendary musician and you will clearly hear the influence of the french composer in Frank’s music.

Composer Arnold Schönberg in an Interview about Art and Music

In this video clip you can see some images of Arnold Schönberg’s paintings and personal photos while he is being interviewed about different issues.
Arnold Schönberg belonged to the painting school called Blauer Reiter together with Vladimir Kadinsky and other famous painters. However, Schönberg decided to concentrate on music. In this interview he explains how this happened.
Arnold Schönberg is a very important comoser and can be considered as the logical conclusion of western classical concert music that began with the gregorian choir music with it’s monophonic melodies that could be ‘completed’ initially only with octaves and fifths, since these harmonies are sounding very much the same and music was not for embellishment of the church service itself but for the praising of god. Attention should not be distrated from this goal and music should be no reason to attend the services. One by one, the other 11 notes that exist in between the octave – according to western tuning – where ‘admitted’ in the compositions of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and the rest of the classical composers. By the time Arnold Schönberg appeared on the music scene, every single note could be present in a composition and this meant to Schönberg and a few others that classical music had come to an end and that the logical evolution asked for atonal music, music without the conventional tonal centers that resulted from the rules of harmony.
In the background sound of the interview, you can listen to some compositions by Arnold Schönberg (Who also was one of rock musician Frank Zappa‘s favourite composers).

Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society Performing Christmas Woman

Watch this music video clip with Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society performing their sond Christmas Woman on the Moers Jazz Festival (Germany) in 1994 with bandleader Ronald Shannon Jackson on the drums, Dom Richards playing the electric bass, Rob Reddy on soprano saxophone, James Carter playing the tenor saxophone and Jef Lee Johnson on electric guitar.
The Moers Jazz Festival is well known among jazz musicians and fans of avantgarde jazz music. Every year this region of Germany attracts musicians and jazz fans from all over the world and it’s efinitely worth visiting some of the concerts.
Ronald Shannon’s mother played piano and organ at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church while his father run a local record store and jukebox business. In 1966, his family moved to New York and Ronald Shannon entered New York University where he met cats like René McLean, Charles Sullivan and bass player Abdul Malik from the Thelonious Monk band.
In his carreer as a composer and soloist he has played with jazz giants including McCoy Tyner, Charles Mingus, Stanley Turrentine, Bennie Maupin, Betty Carter, Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, Kenny Dorham, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ray Bryant, Shirley Scott and others.
Ronald Shannon Jackson also is a recognized composer and many of his pieces have been performed by european and other concert music orchestras. And of course, Ronald Shannon Jackson is giving classes and has helped many now important jazz musicians to start their musical career.

Brahms’ Capriccio performed by Arthur Rubinstein the Great Master of Classical Piano

This video shows the great piano artist Arthur Rubinstein performing a classical composition by german composer Johannes Brahms, the Capriccio No. 2. Arthur Rubinstein is well known as an excellent piano player and discovers the inner structure of this capriccio for our ears. He plays the Capriccio No. 2 out of memory and was 86 years old when performing it for the recording this video. A few years later, Rubinstein got blind and couldn’t read music any more. However, he had already memorized a huge amount of compositions for piano solo and for different concert music orchestras.
Johannes Brahm is along with Luwig van Beethoven and Johan Sebastian Bach one of the most important german composers. These three composers are frequently recalled as the ‘3 Bs’ and each one of them has enriched the body of the classical music repertoire with many valuable pieces and compositions. This composition of Brahms, the Capriccio No. 2 is performed here by a great artist who plays it in his very personal and masterish style. We recommend our readers to look out for more music of this composer who on one side is a very classical composer but on the other side has also integrated some adventurous passages into his work that clearly show his interest in trascending the established limits of harmony and find new contextualizations for his melodies.

Frank Zappa Performing Inca Roads with some Original Claymation and Overdubs

This video clip shows Frank Zappa performing Inca Roads live on stage and has some fantastic claymation (= animation with clay) work included. The noises from the claymation part seem to bother some people on youtube, however, this is great work and worth listening to. If you don’t get it the first time, listen to it again! We’re sure you will fully appreciate it after a couple of times listening. Frank Zappa is accompanied here by Ian and Ruth Underwood on the vibraphone, George Duke on piano, Chester Thompson on drums and Napoleon Murphy Brock on flute and tenor saxophone. There should be no doubt about the musical quality of this video though. Zappa was always experimenting and open to discover new horizons and this yuxtaposition of the live performance and the claymation is a great example of it. The animation was added by Frank Zappa personally to the live gig from 1974 and originally appears on the Dub Room Special video. Those of the listeners who don’t like the sound effects of the claymation overdubbed on the live show should either respect Frank Zappa’s will or write their own music, I would like to see if they can do better in terms of original creativity which were some of Zappa’s most important and characteristic propperties. Of course, our society is designed to hate originality and creativity and trained to listen to crap like Britney Spears or Thalia, precisely because this kind of ‘stars’ don’t do anything original or creative, they just repeat standard approved formulas that fit into any living room form Chicago to Tokio without questioning the validity of these formulas in musical and much more in artistic terms. Lullabies for the working masses, keeping them brainwahedly doped. Does anybody remember Frank Zappa’s great and always entertaining stuff about the brain police on his first albums?
Frank Zappa was, in the first place, an artist. It is incredible to see how the clay figures change their appearance over and over again, how things flow, just like ever changing reality where the only stable thing is change itself.
If you like to watch more videos and music of Frank Zappa, please visit http://www.fiesta-musical.com/english/Frank-Zappa.php.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Concert for Flute Harp and Orchestra

This video clip shows Katrina Szederkenyi on the harp and Desislava Dobreva on flute performing the first movement of the Concert for Flute, Harp and Orchestra. In this version, the orchestra is subsituted with a piano, which is a frequent way of reducing costs and still be able to perform a musical piece that involves a symphony orchestra. The composition is registered under the number 299 in the Köchel-Register and is the only composition of Mozart that includes a harp which was still being developed at the time.
The austrian composer was requested to compose this concert by the Duke of Guines who ocasionaly played the flute while his daughter played the harp, receiving composition lessons from Mozart.
Since then this piece has become very popular and is frquently played in the original form as well as with small orchestras or piano and serves to expose the capacity of harp players, despite the fact that there are no rich glissandi in the piece which are one of the characteristics of modern harp compositions.
During the performance, the harp and the flute play as a duo in some parts while most of the time they or the harp alone play together with the orchestra, or with the piano in this case. When playing duo, the harp and the flute perform a counterpoint which is a classical element of composition. In this first movement, both themes are presented by the piano and lateron developed by the harp and the flute.
Enjoy this beautifull piece and listen to more music by Mozart, one of the most prolific composers of the classical period. There are some more videos of music by Mozart on fiesta-musical.com, including a version of the Turkish March on alto saxophone.